By: Farishta Anjirbag
I will spend this article making note of a few simple things I love.
Warm, toasted bread with butter and jam. It doesn’t take much to enjoy. I like to let the bread lie in the toaster a little longer than it needs to—you've got to have a toaster, of course; the stove doesn't produce the same results. I like for the edges to be a darker brown, and perfectly crisp, to have the taste of slightly burnt bread linger in my mouth long after I've eaten. You’ve got to have nice bread—that matters, certainly. We buy ours maybe three or four times a week. And I like for my butter to be soft—we buy a lot of that, too—so I can spread it quickly, all over the warm bread before it cools. I have a little box for the butter that’s easy to open, for maximum efficiency. I would recommend having such a box, or you’d waste a lot of effort on such a small thing as butter. Then I like to watch it melt, seep into the toast, infusing warmth with more warmth. For such a simple food, it seems almost luxurious. Finally, I get a hold of the jam jar—homemade and strawberry, most often—scoop out a sizable portion, and spread that out onto my toast, too. The key, then, is to eat it immediately, especially if you’re sitting right under a fan or in an air-conditioned area, which is the optimal experience. I like to take my plate of toasts to my room—make myself comfortable on my bed before starting to eat—or out onto the balcony if the weather is nice. Up here it usually is. If it’s hot out, I’d advise having a fan on the balcony to enjoy your toast. Now, isn’t that the simplest joy?
The rain, especially in the middle of a thunderstorm—the more chaotic, the better. It’s the sky’s theatre. How can anyone not like it? It’s best enjoyed with a book in a big, cozy armchair. Often, a few drops land on my pages through the open window, to add to the romance of it all. Of course, when a whole barrage starts to pour in, I have to close my window. But regardless, there’s a wonderful view to enjoy. From my seat on the seventh floor, I often feel like I could watch the storm’s performance unfold above the city for hours. Living higher up helps you appreciate it more. It keeps you away from the floods, which I’ve heard happen often. Some days, I like to go downstairs and get drenched. It feels like a release, washing over me. Of course, this is very different from unexpectedly getting caught in the rain—the feeling is considerably worse when you don’t have a choice in the matter. At least if you have a cute umbrella, it’s not so bad. And it must be kept in mind that one of the best parts of getting wet in the rain is returning to your house. Your warm house, your house full of towels, and maybe a hot drink; preferably high up, with a cozy chair, a window. All it takes is a few drops of water from the sky and suddenly your soul is full; such uncomplicated happiness.
A walk around the neighbourhood. There are few things more peaceful than stepping out for a walk in good weather. Of course, that means setting out early in the morning, or later in the evening, to avoid the heat. It would be far less enjoyable if I were compelled to go outside only in the hours of the strongest sunlight. All through my walk, I like to watch people go about their day—good, honest people, I can presume; at least, they look at me kindly. They’re getting to work, talking on the phone, buying groceries, walking their dogs, laughing. The best part is getting to blend in, and becoming part of a large group of people. Not getting to blend in like that would be distressing. I would be very uncomfortable standing out, having people point their fingers at me, or look me up and down as if I was something other than human. I like to take these walks alone; there’s no reason not to. And I like to walk slowly, to savour the day. I’m not in a hurry to get away from anyone, after all. I could never enjoy my walks if I was! Often, I make an activity of stip-stepping into the patches of sunlight filtering through the trees, onto the smooth footpath. It would be a shame to roam around in a place without these old, wide trees. Once I have taken in everything there is to take in on that day, I walk back home—usually with an appetite, anticipating the meal that awaits me. Of course, I barely ever venture out of the neighbourhood—the roads are the cleanest here, and all the manholes are securely covered. A walk down the road--it doesn’t ask for much.